Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies officials had discussions about potentially moving Nick Pivetta to the bullpen. If the circumstances were right, manager Gabe Kapler said, “It’s something we’ll consider.”
Pivetta, 26, was recently sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after posting an ugly 8.35 ERA in his first four starts of the season. Going into the season, Pivetta was a popular candidate for a breakout. In his most recent start for the IronPigs, Pivetta struck out 14 batters over six innings. Doing that at the major league level, however, is a much different story.
The Phillies have been bitten by the injury bug, as Vìctor Arano, Tommy Hunter, and David Robertson are all on the injured list. Despite that, the Phillies’ aggregate 4.27 bullpen ERA ranks 13th across baseball.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.